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Contributions to Theory and Comparative History of Historiography

German and Brazilian Perspectives


Luiz Estevam de Oliveira Fernandes, Luísa Rauter Pereira and Sérgio da Mata

This book bears witness to the tightening of bonds that has been taking place among the Brazilian and the German historiographical communities in the last years. It presents a wide array of historiographical issues by various scholars: the role played by history writing in modern processes of nation-building, Alexander von Humboldt’s indirect Brazilian experience, the humanistic and methodical legacies of 19th century German historical thinking, current perspectives in the history of concepts, and the potentials and limits of history as a means for political education.
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Erich Auerbach – Conditio humana


The Question

Erich Auerbach (1892-1957) is known for his book Mimesis. Dargestellte Wirklichkeit in der abendlaendischen Literatur (1946) and one can say that his other works gravitate towards this work.

The book sets out to investigate nothing less than the conditio humana, but understands it as something intrinsically historical. Therefore, as something that changes over time, and the effort of analysis is to reveal the historicity [Geschichtlichkeit], which is, in equal measure, to reveal the conditio humana as it appears in different times and situations. This task, quite complex and maybe even pretentious, was carried out by Auerbach in an extremely original way, drawing on his training as a philologist and a scholar of literary works.

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